International renowned dissertation award for TUM Graduate School Alumni

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The TUM Graduate School (TUM-GS) congratulates Dr. Samuel Sutiono and Dr. Benjamin Winkeljann for winning this year’s Dimitris N. Chorafas Award!

Prof. Dr. Volker Sieber (l.) hands over the award to Dr. Samuel Sutiono.
Prof. Dr. Volker Sieber (l.) hands over the award to Dr. Samuel Sutiono. (Photo: Maria Schießl/TUM)
Award Winner Dr. Benjamin Winkeljann.
Award Winner Dr. Benjamin Winkeljann. (Photo: Dorothea Pantförder/TUM)

The Dimitris N. Chorafas foundation yearly awards 30 outstanding young doctoral researchers from top ranking universities worldwide in selected fields in engineering, medicine and the natural sciences with the Dimitris N. Chorafas Prize. The prestigious prize rewards research characterized by its high potential for practical application and by the special significance attached to its aftermath. Each year, TUM may nominate two exceptional doctoral graduates for the Prize. Each prize winner is awarded with 5,000 USD.

One of this year’s award winners is Dr. rer. nat. Samuel Sutiono with his thesis “Development of Decarboxylases and Dehydratases as Valuable Biocatalysts for the Production of Fine Chemicals".

Samuel Sutiono obtained his Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Lund University, Sweden. He then pursued his doctoral research at the Technical University of Munich under the supervision of Prof. Volker Sieber at the Chair of Chemistry for Biogenic Resources, TUM Campus Straubing, where he graduated in 2021 with summa cum laude. In his thesis, “Development of Decarboxylases and Dehydratases as Valuable Biocatalysts for the Production of Fine Chemicals", Sutiono makes an important contribution for the sustainable production of chemicals based on biomass as an alternative to fossil raw materials.
After a brief Postdoc period at the Chair of Chemistry of Biogenic Resources, he joined CASCAT GmbH, a start-up company in the field of industrial biotechnology. In his current work, he focuses on the development and commercialization of biotechnological processes for the production of chemicals and specialties. His primary vision is to streamline the use of biocatalysts in the biotransformation of renewable resources. 

Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Winkelmann is awarded with the Dimitris N. Chorafas Prize as well as with the Rudolf Schmidt-Burkhardt Memorial Prize for his thesis “Functional biomacromolecules on medical polymer surfaces”.

Benjamin Winkeljann is a trained mechanical engineer who received both his Master’s and doctoral degree from Technical University of Munich. During his doctorate at the TUM Department of Mechanical Engineering, from which he graduated with highest honors in 2020, he was working on new strategies to combat medical device associated complications – an issue that is responsible for a significant amount of community healthcare expenses. For his outstanding thesis, “Functional biomacromolecules on medical polymer surfaces” under the supervision of Prof. Oliver Lieleg (Professorship for Biomechanics), he was awarded with two prizes, the Dimitri N. Chorafas and the Rudolf Schmidt-Burkhardt Memorial Prize. The latter prize, which is donated by the Rudolf and Henriette Schmidt-Burkhadt Fondation, is awarded through the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at TUM annually.
Since 2021, Winkeljann is working as a postdoctoral scientist at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmaceutics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. His research comprises both microfluidic approaches and molecular dynamics simulations to study and improve the formulation of lipid and polymeric nanoparticles for RNA delivery.

Would you like to learn more about this year’s award winners and their research? We are happy to announce that Benjamin Winkeljann and Samuel Sutiono will give you more insights on our LinkedIn channel soon. Follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram and don’t miss out on any updates.